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“Did Ronald McDonald Also Tend To Scare You As A Child?”: Working to Emplace Consumption, Commodities and Citizen-Students in a Large Classroom Setting

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Abstract:

So-called 'radical' and 'critical' pedagogy seems to be everywhere these days on the landscapes of geographical teaching praxis and theory. Part of the remit of radical/critical pedagogy involves a de-centring of the traditional 'banking' method of pedagogical praxis. Yet, how do we challenge this 'banking' model of knowledge transmission in both a large-class setting and around the topic of commodity geographies where the banking model of information transfer still holds sway? This paper presents a theoretically and pedagogically driven argument, as well as a series of practical teaching 'techniques' and tools—mind-mapping and group work—designed to promote 'deep learning' and a progressive political potential in a first-year large-scale geography course centred around lectures on the Geographies of Consumption and Material Culture. Here students are not only asked to place themselves within and without the academic materials and other media but are urged to make intimate connections between themselves and their own consumptive acts and the commodity networks in which they are enmeshed. Thus, perhaps pedagogy needs to be emplaced firmly within the realms of research practice rather than as simply the transference of research findings.

Keywords: 'deep' learning; Radical/critical pedagogy; classroom setting; consumption and commodity geographies; group discussion; large-class teaching and learning; mind-mapping

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03098260802221157

Affiliations: Department of Geography, King's College, London, UK

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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